MARANG, TERENGGANU - Malaysian authorities have extended by two days the detention of a doctor in Terengganu who had allegedly issued fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates.
The certificates were allegedly sold by him at between RM400 and RM600 (S$130 to S$194) each to those who wished to get these passes without being vaccinated, Bernama news agency reported on Tuesday (Jan 11).
A vaccination certificate, whether in digital or printed form, must be produced before a person is allowed into Malaysian malls, cinemas and most shops.
Preliminary investigations by the authorities found that 1,900 people including those residing outside Terengganu had dealt with the private clinic operated by the doctor for vaccination purposes since September last year, New Straits Times (NST) daily reported on Tuesday.
But it was unclear if all of them had bought the fake certificates, said Terengganu police chief, Deputy Commissioner Rohaimi Md Isa.
The doctor's three-day remand order, which initially would end on Tuesday, was extended to Thursday by Magistrate Engku Nurul Ain Engku Muda at the Marang court in Terengganu.
The doctor, who was not named in media reports, was arrested by police at the private clinic on Saturday.
In the 7pm operation, the raiding party seized more than 100 fake vaccination appointment cards, a laptop and telephone, NST reported.
Malaysia has a small group of anti-vaccination and vaccine-sceptic activists who have made their views widely known on social media.
The Malaysian Health Ministry's CovidNow website showed that 78.6 per cent of the country's total population have been fully vaccinated by Tuesday, while 24.6 per cent of the total population have received booster shots.
Of the Malaysian adults who are 18 years old and above, the full vaccination rate stood at 97.8 per cent, while 34.3 per cent of them have received booster shots.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said it is dismayed at news of the fake vaccination certificates.
Association president, Dr Koh Kar Chai, urged the authorities to conduct a full investigation and bring those responsible to book.
"We also urge the public to make a report if they come across any corrupt activities in the healthcare sector," MMA said in a statement, as quoted by NST.
"MMA does not condone such activities that destroy the integrity of the medical profession, more so when it causes harm to the health of all."